Preparing for the resident application, interview, and match process requires detailed planning. Our goal at MedMatchPlus+ is to help medical graduates stand out in a highly competitive field and to provide tools and support along the way to take some of the stress out of the application process. With tight deadlines and specific requirements, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

FAQs About Applying

What is the timeline for applying?

If you’re about to start your fourth year of med school, then you should start planning for The Match now. The ERAS season opens in June of each year and ends on May 31 of the following year. However, each program sets its own deadlines for receiving applications. Be sure you research your top programs in advance to determine the appropriate submission deadlines.

Can I apply for a specialty program that is not participating with the ERAS?

If a program you are interested in is not participating with the ERAS, you should contact the program directly to learn how to apply.

What support documents can I include with my ERAS application?

The ERAS application allows graduates to include a personal statement, letters of recommendation, medical student performance evaluation (also known as a dean’s letter), and medical school transcript. Optionally, students may also include a photo and USMLE or COMLEX-USA transcript. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must also include an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) status report and postgraduate training authorization letter. These support documents are received and processed by your Designated Dean’s Office, and they are not collected by your ERAS.

Additionally, while a profile with MedMatchPlus+ is not included as part of your ERAS application, it can be a supplementary profile that you submit directly to residency coordinators in conjunction with your ERAS application.

FAQs About the Interview

What should I wear for my interview?

Keep your attire professional and conservative. Remember that the interview visit normally lasts the entire day, so you’ll want to choose something comfortable with shoes that are easy to walk in.

What kinds of questions will they ask during the interview?

You will likely receive a range of questions about both your personality and work ethic, as well as specifics about your motivations to become a doctor, your favorite courses in med school, and why you’re interested in and capable of your specific specialty. Be sure that you also have thoughtful questions prepared to ask them about the program and how it could work for you.

What should I do after the interview?

Before you leave, ask the interviewers for business cards to ensure you have a direct line of communication with them. Following the interview, be sure you send out thank you notes to the program director and faculty. Highlight personal moments from the interview to help you stand out and reinforce your interest in the program.

FAQs About The Match

How does the ranking algorithm work?

The Match starts with the top choice of the applicant based on their rank order list. If a match is not made on the first program, The Match goes down the list until a tentative match is made between the program and applicant. Once all the rank order lists have been considered for all applicants, the tentative matches are finalized and confirmed.

How will I know if I matched with a program?

You can log into the Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) system through NRMP at your designated time, depending on if you are a specialty matching application or main residency matching applicant. Once logged in, you’ll find one of six different possible messages based on if you matched, matched to an advanced position, matched to a one-year position, or did not match (three possible responses). Those that did not match may be eligible to participate in the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) for unfulfilled positions still remaining, unless they have been withdrawn from The Match due to ineligibility.

As an IMG, do I need to do anything differently for The Match?

International Medical Graduates need to be especially strategic about their application and matching process. According to the ECFMG, only 53 percent of IMGs matched in 2017 and 51 percent matched in 2016. As such, you should target primary care programs that are more accepting of IMGs. Also, work with the pre-health advisor at your school to seek out historically IMG-friendly programs and do as much as possible to showcase your unique attributes in your application.

At MedMatchPlus+, we are dedicated to helping residency applicants prepare for The Match. Sign up today to learn how you can supplement your application with a customized video profile. For more tools and tips on matching, check out our Candidate Resources page.

“The Match”, “NRMP”, “SOAP”, “Rank Order List” (ROL), “Program Rating and Interview Scheduling Manager” (PRISM), “Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3)” are trademarks of NRMP (National Resident Matching Program). “ERAS” is a trademark of AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). “USMLE” is a trademark of the National Board of Medical Examiners and Federation of State Medical Boards. “COMLEX-USA” is a trademark of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.